Sun Fires Up Information Appliance ERA

September 10, 1999

NEWS BRIEFS

Palo Alto, CA — Sun Microsystems, Inc. unveiled an innovative software technology and the industry’s first enterprise “appliance” that makes computing for enterprise users as friendly and reliable as picking up and using a telephone handset.

This announcement embodies the vision of Sun co-founder Bill Joy, who steadfastly believes that “complexity should be absorbed in the network, not thrust on the user.” Sun’s Hot Desk technology now makes possible a computing model analogous to a telephone utility, where users are completely shielded from all operational complexities (e.g., administration, call routing, security, etc.) and interface only with a simple, inexpensive device that is always “on.”

Like a telephone, the new book-sized Sun Ray 1 enterprise appliance is easy-to-use, affordable and reliable and works the instant it’s plugged in. The Sun Ray appliance requires no changes to existing applications, never needs upgrading, and most importantly — unlike a PC, does not tie the user to a fixed location (e.g., a desk).

For the first time, Sun’s new Hot Desk technology allows users’ applications, including legacy mainframe and Windows NT applications, to be directed to wherever he goes within the workgroup and to be instantly accessed via smart card technology. For example, if an office worker on the 4th floor wanted to give a presentation to his boss, who resided on the 26th floor, he would simply bring his smart card with him upstairs and insert it into his boss’ Sun Ray appliance. Instantly, the office worker’s unique desktop session would pop up — displaying the presentation in exactly the same state it was in when he last worked on it.

“We are looking for an enterprise appliance solution that is instant, constant and easy to use,” said Gail Smith, senior vice president, front office development, Scotiabank. “The stateless nature of Sun Ray 1 enterprise appliance affords considerable benefits — if a unit were to be shut down for any reason, our employees can simply plug in a replacement, or move to another Sun Ray appliance within the workgroup. Within seconds, they instantly receive their session exactly where they left off and can continue working essentially uninterrupted. Since there are no user-serviceable parts on the desktop, system maintenance is simple.”

“Sun’s vision is, and always has been, to deliver services everywhere on the Net,” said Ed Zander, president and chief operating officer, Sun Microsystems. “Java brought software everywhere on the Net, Jini connected consumer devices on the Net, and now, the Sun Ray 1 appliance brings the enterprise desktop to the Net. It’s simple, effective and reliable.”

Breaking from previous thin client architectures, the Sun Ray device is a true “appliance.” Unlike PCs and Windows-based terminals, the Sun Ray appliance runs no application or system code locally and thus requires no configuration or desktop management, enabling Sun to offer an unprecedented five-year warranty.

For more information visit http://www.sun.com

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